Monday, May 28, 2012

So you think you're a good person headed for heaven?

There is terrible news. I wish I could avoid mentioning it at all costs and in all ways. I had planned to do just that, but the Spirit burdened me otherwise.

I will only specify the news once and I won't link to it. It is about a South Beach, Miami man found in public cannibalizing a fresh corpse he'd just killed. If I have any of the details of this wrong, I apologize. I haven't read any of the news articles about it, and only gleaned from the few headlines that inadvertently passed before my eyes as a mistake.

Authorities say he 'may' have been in a drug induced psychotic frenzy. I hope so. I would really hate to think that he just did this without the catalyst of mind-altering drugs! What would THAT say about humankind's potential for evil? This post is about exactly that, man's potential for evil.

This post is for all the people who say that they don't need Jesus because you are a good person. No, you're not. You're THAT person, the man cannibalizing a corpse. I was that person, but am now saved and my sins forgotten.

'What?!' you say, 'Elizabeth, you've gone off your rocker! I never did that to anyone and I never would do that to anyone!!!' Really? Unless you are saved by grace of Jesus and have the Holy Spirit in you to restrain you from sinning, ALL people have that and more in them. There is no one who is 'good.' (Romans 3:10). We are all totally depraved, you see. The depths of sin knows no bounds. It goes deep.

I repeat: there is none good. "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." (Psalm 14:1).

So then you say, "Well, I'm not that bad. I'm not as bad as the guy in South Beach." You may not be. Now. But you have the capacity.

Do you think the guy in South Beach five years ago woke up and said, "In five years I'm going to strip naked in public and chew a dead guys' face off"? THAT guy likely never thought he would do the thing he did. None of us do. But then we do.

There are no levels of sin at which a person naturally stops and doesn't descend any lower. In finance, When things get too crazy and the stock market drops like a rock, they put in place a circuit breaker to stop the frenzy and give everyone a time to cool off so that calm can be restored. They halt trading for different periods of time depending on how fast the levels are dropping. Humans don't have natural circuit breaker. Therefore anyone who says "I'm a good person. I would never cannibalize a corpse" is lying. (1 John 1:8). You already have it in you to do just that.

Sin is not like a stock market circuit breaker, where a person can halt the slide into lower territory. There is no emergency switch in the elevator of sin that descends a person lower and lower. You can't wham your palm over the red button and say 'I've gone far enough in my sin, no lower!'

Unless you repent, that is. Jesus IS that emergency button. If you don't have Jesus in you, there is no hope of resisting sin. Like a stock portfolio, sins' effects will compound. They will drag a person lower and lower.

Some unsaved people can resist (outward) sin (for a while) and they appear as a good person. It's like a diet. Some people can resist having cake every time and others can't. Some people resist outward sin for a long time, years even. But we all sin.

The SoBe man eating the dead man was acting like the beasts do. We are all beasts. "I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 3:18-19). When a right combination of circumstances comes along, sin will eventually catch up to them and they will be dragged off as a gazelle in the mouth of a lion to their doom.

The reason we all have this in us, this capacity to do what the man in SoBe did, is because of total depravity. Alternately called original sin, we all are in this state until or unless we repent. It is the status quo condition of every person on the planet who ever lived (except Adam & Eve originally, and Jesus always).

Noted preacher Charles Spurgeon defined our natural condition this way: "By original sin we mean the evil quality which characterizes man's natural disposition and will. We call this sin of nature original, because each fallen man is born with it, and because it is the source or origin in each man of his actual transgressions."

Noted preacher John MacArthur also explains total depravity: "And yet, our verse reminds us that we are so hopelessly and thoroughly wicked that not one of us could ever truly love God unless God Himself enabled us to do so. That is the doctrine of total depravity in a nutshell. It means that we are totally unable to save ourselves. We have a debilitating moral inability that makes our love for Him an utter impossibility until He intervenes to give us the ability to love Him."

Until and unless we repent, and our sins are forgiven, we are total sin. Paul said, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." (Romans 7:18-19)

I wonder how we look to Jesus. He has glorified eyes. He knows what is in a man. (John 2:25). I wonder what our sin looks like to him. He loves all people, including those who have so far refused His pardon and are not saved. He sees their sins in them. I'd imagine that sin looks something like this: picture a man, outwardly to us handsome, charming, clean. But to Jesus, he's covered head to toe in vomit and poo. Dried and crusty, other sections oozing and wet. Out of his mouth comes green pus when he speaks.

EWWWWW! Would you hug a man like that? Of course not. But Jesus did. He walked among us, He ate at our tables, He healed, He touched lepers. (Mark 1:41). Moreover the verse says He was moved with pity. Jesus didn't look at us and go, "EWWWWW." He descended from glory and the purity of His holy habitation to walk among people who look like vomit in their sins, loved us, pitied us, and died to save people like us, including the South Beach cannibal.

The SoBe cannibal isn't even the worst example of a sinner. It will get worse. Sin always gets worse. In the Tribulation sin is allowed its full measure (Gen 15:16; Dan 9:24; 1 Thess 2:16) and there is no Restrainer on earth! (Gen 6:3; 2 Thess 2:7) Sin will flow out unrestrained, and then you shall see how bad people really are!

The uplifting thing is that though the people who remain in their sins will descend deeper and deeper in them, to infinity, Jesus's holiness is also infinite! His love is infinite! As low as we go, He can reach down and lift us up!! (1 John 1:9)

He came to die for sinners. Before we repent, we all look like that to Jesus. "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) . Now that is a God worth living for. If you repent (ask forgiveness of your sins) He will forgive you and cleanse you of them. He will replace the filthy rags of your deeds (Is 64:6) with a garment of righteousness.

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (Isaiah 61:10)

4 comments:

  1. The man who lost his face was alive, not dead. Somehow to me that makes it even worse. He was in the hospital afterward and the hospital said it would not release any info on his condition according to BBC and other news agencies.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh! How totally sick!!
    Jesus, when will You come Lord?

    <><

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read the news account and posted it on FB this a.m., Elizabeth. I was deeply disturbed. The news reckoned it as a drug induced act. My thought was maybe we really do have zombies and such running around on earth or maybe they are beginning to arrive on these ufo's that are being sighted. I don't know, but I cannot imagine the horror of the people who were present to see what was happening or the horror of the homeless man who was the victim. May God have mercy on us all and protect us from the evil one.

    Kim

    ReplyDelete

Throwback Friday: A Tale of Two Shepherds

This essay first appeared on The End Time on November 17, 2011 ------------------------------------------ Prophecy of the Shepherds ...